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Sunday, February 12, 2012

About That 26 Million....

The Foreclosure Settlement reached last week by 5 major banks and 49 States looks to be a decent deal for a lot of people affected by some pretty shoddy work by the banks, and a good deal for the banks since it limits liability they'd face from individual states.

There is of course, some political points to be scored from it also. In Wisconsin Democrats immediately jumped on Gov. Scott Walker for the fact that $26 million of the State's cut of the pie is going to go to cover a budget shortfall.

Newpapers jumped on it as a flip-flop, after he'd criticized a previous governor for wasting the tobacco settlement funds by putting them into the general budget to shore up a (much bigger) deficit.

Being of a generally rational mind, I though that was probably a bad idea, but also understanding partisanship, I decided to look up the terms of the settlement, and see how he could get away with such a dastardly deed.

As it turns out, it only took 1 search with Google to find out he was actually putting the money where the settlement said it should go. ZeroHedge has a nice little breakdown of how the settlement money is divided.

Specifically, from Zero Hedge:

$3.5bn will go to state and federal governments to repay public funds lost as a result of servicer misconduct and to fund housing counselors, legal aid and other similar public programs.

Wisconsin's share of that 3.5 billion is 31.5 million. Of that $5.5 million is going into various programs across the state, the other $26 million is going to the general fund, to "repay public funds". What a concept, actually using the money where the settlement said it should go.

I understand Wisconsin Democrat's problem with this; they spent years raiding transportation, retirement and patient settlement funds to play 3 card monte with the budget and make it look good. The idea of actually putting money where it is designated to go is somewhat of a foriegn concept to them.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Could Walker Recall Be in Doubt?

A funny thing could happen on the way to getting a recall of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, it might not be a "sure thing" like we've been told.

Since the Union Activists grass roots organizers marched to the Government Accountability Board (GAB) with their "1,000,000" signatures the media and the left (I know, redundant) have claimed that the election in inevitable. Except no one seemed to count the signatures, hell the GAB claims it's not their job.

Well, a few grass roots groups on the other side have been counting, and their math, along with some basic work from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel makes me wonder if we'll even see a recall election in Wisconsin.

A number of people, from different groups doing independent verifications of the petitions have come up with an average number of signatures per page of 4.9; sounds like a lot with over 152,000 pages submitted; but doing the math shows that instead of a million signatures, that only comes out to 750,000.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel did a randomly generated check on 500 signatures, and found with what was no more than a cursory look that about 15% of them were obvious fakes. The didn't look for duplicates or verify address or names, or go through the Verify The Recall database for folks who didn't want to be on it. Just using their number, and the verifiers rate of signatures, you are already down to 635,000 signatures.

If 750,000 is closer to the true number submitted, that means that Walker would have to eliminate 28% of the submitted signatures to have the recall effort fall short of the 541,000 they need to get it through.

How do 28% get eliminated? What's leaking out so far from the groups verifying the signatures are tales of large numbers of errors that fall out of the "clerical error" category that can be corrected. For instance, dates on signatures that fell after the document was signed as complete. Dates on the top signature lines that were done after the bottom line. Every document by Lena Taylor being wrong, with the wrong address and district listed on them.

So if the Journal comes up with 15% failing common sense checks, and reviewers find 10% of the pages are flawed due to items as above, you now only need 3% to end up with less than the necessary number. Considering news stories of people signing 80 times, or people who've signed up on Verify the Recall who shouldn't be on the list being there, 3% won't be hard to come up with.

The thought of exploding unionista heads if the GAB is forced to say that there aren't enough valid signatures makes for some sweet dreams.

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